Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1), the L-tryptophan-degrading enzyme, plays a key role in the immunomodulatory effects on several types of immune cells. Originally known for its regulatory function during pregnancy and chronic inflammation in tumorigenesis, the activity of IDO1 seems to modify the inflammatory state of infectious diseases. The pathophysiologic activity of L-tryptophan metabolites, kynurenines, is well recognized. Therefore, an understanding of the regulation of IDO1 and the subsequent biochemical reactions is essential for the design of therapeutic strategies in certain immune diseases. In this paper, current knowledge about the role of IDO1 and its metabolites during various infectious diseases is presented. Particularly, the regulation of type I interferons (IFNs) production via IDO1 in virus infection is discussed. This paper offers insights into new therapeutic strategies in the modulation of viral infection and several immune-related disorders.
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